About the Conference
Belfast – like cities around the world – is beginning to emerge from the unprecedented challenge presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, fundamental questions have been posed about the future of cities such as Belfast. Questions about what work will look like, will retail and hospitality survive and even questions about the demise of cities themselves.
Belfast Chamber is delighted to announce that on 24 March 2022, our BelFastForward conference will return and build on the huge success of our energetic and inspiring 2020 event.
Through a mix of inspiring expert keynote speakers, informative presentations and exciting discussions, BelFastForward 2022 will consider questions such as what is the state of the city globally, what is the state of our city and what the future of Belfast should be.
Belfast is in the midst of an unbelievable regeneration journey. Belfast Chamber – as the voice of the city’s business community – wants to see Belfast become the best possible place to live, work and enjoy leisure time. BelFastForward 2022 will seek to examine and explain how Belfast can fulfil its obvious potential as we seek to emerge stronger and build back better from the challenges presented by COVID-19.
What is the State of The City?
This session will provide an overview of the emerging themes affecting post-pandemic cities and will examine questions lie what will the pandemic mean for how we design and build cities and what are the trends impacting upon the workplace. We will consider how are cities responding, what is developing ‘best practice’ to aid recovery and what type of cities will succeed and which ones will struggle.
Andrew Carter, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities
Tina Saaby, current City Architect of Gladsaxe and former City Architect of Copenhagen
What is the State of Our City?
Our second session will look closer at the impact of the pandemic on Belfast and how our city is responding and recovering. We will consider in what ways Belfast been affected by the pandemic, what are the short term and long-term effects and what does it mean for various sectors of our economy?
Neil Gibson, Chief Economist, EY
George Atala (EY Global Government & Public Sector Leader)
Walter Boettcher (Head of Research and Economics, Colliers)
The Future of Our City
Our final session will delve deeper into the trends revealed by our first two sessions. A combination
of speeches, presentations and panel discussions will explore themes and issues that will be integral
to Belfast’s future success like what we need to do to win the race for talent, Belfast’s fast
developing technology sector, creating a more people centred city and ensuring growth is
sustainable. This session will focus on 3 key areas:
• A Reimagined City
• A Green City
• A Tech City
Jerome Frost (Chair, Arup UKIMEA Region)